The commentary that set your water cooler abuzz

In a year marked by tumultuous change, many of us turned to political and social commentary for insight and answers. ...

Posted: Dec 26, 2017 4:06 AM
Updated: Dec 26, 2017 4:06 AM

In a year marked by tumultuous change, many of us turned to political and social commentary for insight and answers. Some op-eds and newspaper editorials inspired action, others led to emotions ranging from sympathy to outrage. We've already shared 30 of CNN Opinion's top takes from 2017, and here are excerpts from some that appeared in other places but which also drove the conversation.

Susan Fowler, Reflecting on one very, very strange year at Uber

February 19, Personal blog

A former engineer for Uber, Susan Fowler became one of many women to write about Silicon Valley executives' disregard for a culture of sexual harassment forcing many female engineers to quit their jobs. "When I asked our director at an org all-hands about what was being done about the dwindling numbers of women in the org compared to the rest of the company, his reply was, in a nutshell, that the women of Uber just needed to step up and be better engineers."

Read more here.

Lauren Duca, Why Trump's treatment of the media is actually really dangerous

March 2, Teen Vogue

Lauren Duca, a columnist for Teen Vogue, warned of the dangers of a White House in which Donald Trump -- and those close to him -- repeatedly try to undercut faith in and the legitimacy of the free press. "One of the most flagrant examples to date was his tweet calling the 'FAKE NEWS media ... the enemy of the American People.' "

Read more here.

H.R. McMaster and Gary D. Cohn, America First doesn't mean America alone

May 30, Wall Street Journal

H.R. McMaster, the White House national security adviser, and Gary Cohn, the National Economic director, announced that President Trump's first overseas trip to the Middle East represented a historic foreign policy shift for the United States. "America First signals the restoration of American leadership and our government's traditional role overseas - to use the diplomatic, economic and military resources of the US to enhance American security, promote American prosperity, and extend American influence around the world."

Read more here.

David Brooks, How we are ruining America

July 11, New York Times

In a piece that drew criticism, New York Times columnist David Brooks described a growing schism between the upper-middle-class and everyone else -- and the danger of those with money not recognizing their privilege. "Recently I took a friend with only a high school degree to ... a gourmet sandwich shop. Suddenly I saw her face freeze up as she was confronted with sandwiches named "Padrino" and "Pomodoro" and ingredients like soppressata, capicollo and a striata baguette. I quickly asked her if she wanted to go somewhere else and she anxiously nodded yes and we ate Mexican."

Read more here.

Joel Clement, I'm a scientist. I'm blowing the whistle on the Trump administration

July 19, Washington Post

Joel Clement, a former director in the Office of Policy Analysis at the US Department of Interior who resigned from his post, wrote of his worry that the Trump administration is privileging "silence over science. ... Trump and Zinke might kick me out of my office, but they can't keep me from speaking out. They might refuse to respond to the reality of climate change, but their abuse of power cannot go unanswered."

Read more here.

Joe Biden, We are living through a battle for the soul of this nation

August 27, The Atlantic

In the wake of the tragedy in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the President's controversial remarks that followed, former Vice President Joe Biden argued that Americans have a renewed obligation to uphold American values. "We have to do what our president has not. ... We have to defend our Constitution. ... We have to show the world America is still a beacon of light."

Read more here.

Rosanne Cash, Country musicians, Stand up to the NRA

October 3, New York Times

After the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history targeted a country music festival, country music singer Rosanne Cash called for common-sense gun laws -- laws that the NRA has tried to block repeatedly. "The NRA will stick to its post-shooting playbook. It will say that we shouldn't 'politicize' the Las Vegas carnage by talking about gun control at this time, and that this isn't about guns, it's about people, and that even more of us should be armed to protect ourselves. Enough. Patriotism and a belief in strong gun control are not antithetical."

Read more here.

Mayim Bialik, Being a feminist in Harvey Weinstein's world

October 13, 2017, New York Times

After a wave of sexual harassment stories, actress Mayim Bialik wrote a provocative piece about how she has attempted to protect herself from predators in the entertainment industry, which she says, "profits on the objectification of women. ... I still make choices every day as a 41-year-old actress that I think of as self-protecting and wise. I have decided that my sexual self is best reserved for private situations with those I am most intimate with. I dress modestly. I don't act flirtatiously with men as a policy."

Read more here.

Lupita Nyong'o, Speaking out about Harvey Weinstein

October 19, 2017, New York Times

Actress Lupita Nyong'o revealed what she described as the numerous times Harvey Weinstein tried to make sexual advances toward her -- all while threatening her career in Hollywood. "I hope we are in a pivotal moment where a sisterhood - and brotherhood of allies - is being formed in our industry. ... Though we may have endured powerlessness at the hands of Harvey Weinstein, by speaking up, speaking out and speaking together, we regain that power. And we hopefully ensure that this kind of rampant predatory behavior as an accepted feature of our industry dies here and now."

Read more here.

Jeff Flake, Enough

October 24, Washington Post

After announcing that he would not seek re-election, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, said that thanks to the current White House occupant, America is in a state of moral crisis, and Americans must not remain silent. "Nine months of this administration is enough for us to stop pretending that this is somehow normal, and that we are on the verge of some sort of pivot to governing, to stability. Nine months is more than enough for us to say, loudly and clearly: Enough."

Read more here. Editorial Board, Our view: Alabama voters must reject Roy Moore

November 18, 2017,

After multiple women accused Republican candidate for US Senate Roy Moore of sexual misconduct, made a striking decision to endorse the Democrat, Doug Jones. "To be clear: It's not only his record on women and children that disqualifies Moore. If we vote for Roy Moore, Alabama will also show that we don't care about you if you're gay or Muslim or Catholic. If you're an atheist or an immigrant. We'll show each other that we only care about Roy Moore's definition of Alabama."

Read more here.

USA Today Editorial Board, Will Trump's lows ever hit rock bottom?

December 12, USA Today

Less than a year into President Trump's White House tenure, the USA Today editorial board drafted a scathing analysis of his behavior and leadership thus far. "A president who would all but call Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand a whore is not fit to clean the toilets in the Barack Obama Presidential Library or to shine the shoes of George W. Bush."

Read more here.

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